n honor of St. Patrick’s Day, our travel destination of the month is to be Ireland. This idyllic isle off the coast of Britain is known for its rolling green hills, friendly faces, and rich history.
Known as the Emerald Isle, Ireland is mostly rural in nature and remains seemingly untouched by modern man outside of the city centers. The official language of the Irish Republic is Gaelic, the purest of all the Celtic languages. Gaelige is taught in most schools but is rarely spoken, being eschewed for English in most common life. No matter what your taste in life, there’s something for you to do in Ireland.
Ireland is known as a large draw for those that prefer life outdoors. Beyond its infamous green hills and beautiful mountains, Ireland offers a wide variety of outdoor adventures. Over 400 golf courses welcome everyone from the greenest amateur to the fiercest competitor. Equestrian trails dot the landscape, allowing people to experience the joy of being on a horse in addition to the magnificent beauty of the landscape. The Esker Riada route is one of the most infamous in all of cycling, and the mountains offer trails for those who yearn to do some vertical mountain biking. And angling throughout Ireland is superb, both freshwater and saltwater.
The history of Ireland is vast, and many historical sites remain today. Irish Castles dot the landscape, beautiful testaments to early building with wood and earthen materials. Blarney Castle, the original home to the infamous Blarney Stone, stands witness to the beauty of its time. Large homes of the aristocracy, like Castletown in County Kildaire, show the art of the architects of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.
Religious sites, both Pagan and Christian, can awe in both their simplicity and majesty. Pagan and Celtic stone structures stand testament to the beliefs of early Irishmen, and some even pre-date the infamous Stone Henge. The Catholic and Protestant cathedrals of modern times are large and awe-inspiring, while the abbeys and monasteries from St. Patrick’s time show the beauty of early Christianity in Ireland. Jerpoint Abbey is one of the most popular, and is believed by many to be one of the most beautiful.
For those who love food, Irish food is a treat to behold. It’s both delectable and simplistic at the same time. Irish Stew, comprised of beef, vegetables, and potatoes, can be found in almost any pub with a pint of Guinness. Butlers, the most infamous chocolates in Ireland, has opened Butlers Chocolate Cafes throughout Dublin and Cork City. These cafes showcase the finest Irish sweets and coffees, a treat for those who enjoy a bit of chocolate to start or cap off their day.
Whether you prefer to spend your time exploring the splendor of nature or the history of man, Ireland offers many treats for your senses. The smell of clover, the sight of the beautiful countryside, the silence of a quiet glen, and the taste of corned beef & cabbage followed by a Butlers chocolate await you in Ireland.
Jane S. Roseen is the Owner and President of Harmony Sweets, an international gourmet chocolate shop. Harmony Sweets’ mission focuses on individual consumers purchasing gourmet chocolates from around the world for their friends and relatives, as well as corporate gift-giving and wholesale sales to retail stores throughout the United States and Canada.
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